--.and V'our relationship
A da4L .- l.fe.
I'' \ :
Let's invest in the welfare of our
nation's children.., before it's too late.
I I-Oi l IO tel hetVe Itl V II N'fl'KAL1\ !0111
di~iledsa~ liilir~li oricnimeyoudidnt'
-oiiiiiiit~.. HiL. Iral ciiCn Iiric IIl a zlsO CieCtVS bI
01". HMi~ i\XI1i[ ILI (- h I rIckIJ I,id I .'Iu'
~~~~Ollit I Ol THL 1RllIK\Il l
Pd IuPIICti or IUINIDAUI AND R~WA~
Dear tibzns, over the past few months, nothing has been more
important or moving than what the Children's Life Fund means to
me on a personal level and the significance of your own efforts at
supporting the ideal of assisting sick children who cannot afford
It is sad to think that in an island that is as rich as we are in natural
resources and spirit that children are dying daily because they
simply have not been afforded proper medical attention What
produces this situation locally is simply the absence of will and
funding I would like to submit to you that the Children's Life Fund
is an expression of the will and a formal means of acquimng the
funding necessary to address the problem in Tnnidad and
Tobago II marks the start of our nation's efforts in alleviabng the
plight of underprivileged children who die or suffer as a result of
being denied that one crucial opportunity to enjoy the fullness of
A rffteen percent deduction from my own salary as Prime Minister
and a five percent deduction of the salaries of Ministers of
Government and Parliament Secretaries have been placed in the
proposed Children's Life Fund. I am advised that as a result of
this, the amount allocated for the fund as at September 30. 2010
is $239,625. a substantial amount that can already help someone
in desperate need of a crucial life saving medical procedure.
To me this is very heartening, because too many futures have
been lost; too much potential has gone unfulfilled, because many
families did not have the resources that would enable them to
save their children's lives.
Already, an organization which runs 22 children's hospitals in the
United States of America, has agreed to partner with us for
surgical procedures and medical procedures free of cost to
children identified here in Trinidad and Tobago.
To every individual and corporate citizen who will partner with us
in this initiative, I extend a heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the
children of Trinidad and Tobago, for giving them some hope
through this important initiabve. God bless you all,
ch IF dreni
Image bI Design
All About Vision
The Importance of an Annual Eye Examination
Your vision is priceless. It's quite possibly the most important sense you have. That's why having a comprehensive eye
examination with an optometrist is so important.
By having your eyes examined every year, you'll take responsibility for maintaining your best vision possible. Your annual
eye examination can detect several eye diseases, such as glaucoma and cataracts, at an early stage of progression to
allow treatment before they have time to turn into something serious. Eye examinations are essential for better vision and
improved overall health.
What lenses are right for me?
Selecting the perfect pair of prescription lenses can be a confusing process. Once you've established how you'll be
using your glasses, you can more accurately choose the style of lens and lens option that best fits your needs.
At Optometrists Today, we can help you to select the various lens options that are right for you.
What are the differences in prescription lens designs?
Just like there are different tools for different jobs, there are different lenses for different vision needs. Here are some of
SINGLE VISION LENSES
The most common type, used for basic visual correction of farsightedness or nearsightedness.
A lens that has correction for far, intermediate & near, all in one lens, without a visible line
Two focal distances (near & far) in one lens with a visible line
COMPUTER/ ANTI FATIGUE LENSES
With widespread use of computers and other electronic devices, many people develop
symptoms of Visual Fatigue Syndrome (VFS) or Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS),
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Special Lens Types & Treatments
Once you've selected the material and design of your lens, enhance their functionality with a combination of the
following additional lens types and special treatments.
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W POLARIZED LENSES
Xperio Polarized Lenses the ultimate second pair of spectacles prescription sunglasses.
Eliminate blinding glare for optimal performance and enjoyment outdoors.
NO-GLARE & SCRATCH RESISTANT TREATMENT
1 Add Crizal to your lenses, and you'll look your best while reducing eyestrain and improving
night vision by eliminating reflection and glare. Helps resist smudging, fingerprints, dirt and water.
REPUBLIC BANK INVESTS 1,000,000
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, November 17, 2009: iUblic I i
invested a one million dollar fund to assist in covering medical
expenses for some of Trinidad and Tobago's critically ill children.
This was the announcement made at the launch of the
SMake a D.ff 4' ere Fund for Sick Children, held at the bank's
head office in Port of Spain.
Managing Director, David Dulal-Whiteway said that the fund,
which was created under the bank's social investment umbrella,
The Power to Make a D. ffJ;t, e. was born out of numerous re-
quests for help from parents of sick children over the years.
"No parent, regardless of financial circumstances, relishes the
prospect of seeing their child suffer from a disease or illness and
face the prospect of early death," Dulal-Whiteway said. He noted
that while it was the role of the government to provide assistance
to children in need of medical care, the corporate sector also had
to play a role.
Shas entered into a four year partnership with
Hope of a Miracle Foundation, whose main focus is to assist criti-
cally ill children in need of life-saving medical treatment. In
this regard, $500,000 will be invested in 2010, to assist with
the work done by the foundation, primarily through their col-
laboration with the International Kids Fund based in the USA.
Beatriz Ramoutarsingh, Public Relations Officer, of Hope of a
Miracle Foundation, described the occasion as a historical one and
praised the bank for its on-going commitment and partnership.
"We are grateful for the assistance of Bank and their
partnership with us, as we come together to support this effort,"
Also endorsing the fund, Dr. Eliot Rosenkranz, Associate Profes-
sor Clinical Surgery/ Paediatrics, attached to the Holtz Children
Hospital at the University Of Miami Hospital, said that it was the
responsibility of the citizenry to also do its part in saving the lives
The Bank will also partner with Transplant Links and The Helen
F. '.- . -', Diabetes Education Research and Prevention Institute
(DERPI) for the year 2010. Transplant Links is a UK- based regis-
tered charity that helps save the lives of children and adults in the
developing world who suffer with kidney disease. Its mandate is
to facilitate the safe and equitable transplantation of organs and
tissue to patients living with organ failure in accordance with inter-
nationally acceptable standards.
The Helen F.-. ', Diabetes Education Research and Preven-
tion Institute is located at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, The
University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, and is geared towards
providing progressive research into the treatment of diabetes, in-
cluding prevention and care with public education.
I is pleased to have partnered with these three or-
ganisations and the public is invited to be a part of this initiative
by contributing to the I Make a D.f't'e eue Fund for
Sick Children at any I branch: Account # 180-482-
Open your heart this Christmas and help bring relief to sick chil-
dren and their parents and guardians; let's bring back their smiles
with our generous contributions.
Managing Director, Republic Bank Limited, David
Dulal-Whiteway '" '.. and General Manager, Group
Marketing and Communications Department, Anna-Maria
Garcia-Brooks (secondfrom left) stand with Helen Bhag-
wansingh of Helen B/ :g,, :,,','.'''' Diabetes Education Re-
search and Prevention Institute andDr. Malcolm Samuel,
Transplant Surgeon of the National Organ Transplant Unit,
Eric .1 Medical Sciences Complex
6 JANUARY 2010 www.caribbeanbelle.com
.j -_ ..
Help a sick
il.k D'L'u A ii"I[I
Join us in helping critically ill children receive the medical treatment that they require.
We have started the Republic Bank Make A Difference Fund For Sick Children with
$1,000,000 and have partnered with Hope of a Miracle Foundation, Transplant Links
of the UK and Helen Bhagwansingh Diabetes Education Research and Prevention
Institute to help children in need of medical treatment.
can to make asick
and can be made at any branch of Republic Bank Limited or via TeleBanker or
Republic Bank Make a Difference Fund for Sick Children
Account # 180 482 222 901
Together we have the Power to Make a Difference in the life of a sick child.
Website: republictt.com Email: email@example.com
Make a P4erence
fund or SictL Chidren
THE FOUNDATION FOR STRONG, HEALTHY
HAIR ALWAYS STARTS AT THE ROOTS.
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*Root Awakeningvs ordinary shampoofor health I,. i
:L i E. 70 1,
i i p
Publisher: Safari Publications Co. Ltd.
Karen Salma Adam
Salisha Baboolal, Joan Harrison, Tricia Henry, Peter Jarrette,
Cynthia Nelson, Afiya Butler-Ray, Adanna Shallowe, Daniele
Calvin French, Graham Jepson, Kerron Riley
Image Master Co. Ltd.
Printing: Eniath's Printing Co. Ltd.
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Safari Publications Co. Ltd.
6 Gaston Street, Lange Park, Chaguanas
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel: (868) 665 7118 or (868) 665 1084
Salfarlie, Salfarlie and Associates
88-18 Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica New York, 11435
Tel: (718) 536 0367
Caribbean Belle is produced four times a year by Safari Publica-
tions Co. Ltd. and is printed by Eniath's Printing Co. Ltd. in
Trinidad and Tobago. All rights reserved. No part of this publica-
tion may be reproduced without prior consent of the publisher.
10 JANUARY 2010 www.caribbeanbelle.com
Your RBTT Credit Card is a convenient way to manage your
daily and monthly budget.
Useitinted f ashfo al ou tanscton, oo, ills, grocer^H i es, thenpay offin full every R^^^^^^^^^^^^Hx^^Uff BAKj^
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mak^^^e and youll b akngu ea rd'B^^s eey ieyo sei!imay^~^^^^^B^^B^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^flineMBIe foryours
Four girls, four hair types
Pantene's new range of hair solutions for each type of hair
On September 29th Pantene (AMCO, Trinidad I
and Tobago) launched its new line of hair solu-
Look around you. Isn't there always someone with
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fined? You're two steps away. First, diagnose your
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For thin or fine hair try one of three Pantene col-
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For more information visit pantene. com/whatsnew.
I r z
II... ........ .I
In Every Issue
-1 The Belle List
Eyes On You
37 Glamour in Bold
SSay goodbye to the little black
dress and hello red
Photographed by Calvin French
74 Fashion meets Stonehaven
7 Villas Skinny ties, striped
pants, bold colours and calming
24 Caribbean Fashion Week
tDesigns that caught our eye
30 Forever Skin
30 Sherry Seegulam shares the
recipe for beautiful skin, always
28 Hair Care 101
Hair Guru, Kerry Mohammed, on
caring for your crowning glory
Mind Body & Spirit
45 Runway Look Belle talks to
MAC make-up artist Gisel Calvillo
1 Hip & Single An exploration of
51 expatriate dating
4 ( Wags, licks and lessons: Diary of
4 an Alpha Female Belle columnist
on life with her pets
84 Talk Story
4 8 Joan Harrison remembers her
father after his death
5O Blank Facebook Wall
Technology puts a spin on he did not
call Adnna haw
5 Trini Abroad
Adventures in France
6 AA Taste Away
During the holiday season, we
make dishes that connect us to
our homes and families
S on life as a socialite, trendsetter
66 Tales of Belize
Interview with artist Carolyn Carr
71 A Visit: The Los Roques
SArchipelago National Park
32 She Has Risen
SGetting to know The Honourable
Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-
Alyya~h Eniath (introduction) in collaboration with
4 4 Etana
54 A music artist determined to stay
true to herself
15 JANUARY 2010 www.caribbeanbelle.com
I loved your Emporio Armani cover
last issue and the fashion spread that
accompanied it. The Le Grand Courlan
Spa Resort was a vibrant and exciting
backdrop suited to the fun and colourful
swimwear depicted. I loved the colours,
patterns, fabric and variety. I look for-
ward to another Calvin French fashion
spread next issue.
Submitted via email
I love Caribbean Belle because the articles
are relevant and informative. It is
truly a Caribbean magazine, reflective of
all the races and mixes we
have here. The quality of paper, print-
ing, design and photography is also very
Submitted via email
Note that some letters were edited for grammar
and wordiness. Though only a handful of letters is
selected for print each issue, we are grateful to all
who took the time to write.
16 JANUARY 2010 www.caribbeanbelle.com
I love surprises and imagine my surprise at finding
a movable Jergens bookmark attached to your latest
issue. It was a joy using my bookmark as I perused
every page; in fact, I had as much fun playing with
the bookmark as I did reading the articles featured.
I find your company to be innovative and creative.
T. Abdool, St. Joseph
Submitted via email
Thank you for focusing on stressed-out
women last issue. I have three children,
two dogs, and a full time job, and most
times I feel just over the top. It was good
to note others' perspectives as well and
to know that I'm not alone in this. Also,
I never knew that eating turkey was a
good stress reliever. Thanks for sharing.
I made a turkey the following day that
was moist and delicious and boy did my
children enjoy. And, I did feel better.
Submitted via email
I found the feature on India Hick's home
in the Bahamas inspiring. I appreciated
her natural sense of style. My fiance and
I used the idea of a shelf wall with photo
frames for our new apartment. Once
again, you've pulled off a fantastic issue.
Sammy, St. Clair
Submitted via email
Congrats to Ruth Osman for writing
such a delightful profile on Calypso Rose.
I found Calypso Rose's story to be pal-
pable and heartfelt. I felt like I knew so
much more about this icon. Well done!
Submitted via email
Swimsuit cover by HeatherJones,
featured last issue
S) This being our fifth year since the in-
". *. ception of Caribbean Belle, we celebrate
through a great sense of satisfaction, from
giving back to the people of Trinidad and
Tobago and the Caribbean.
Merely three months ago while in the
process of deciding between amassing a
collection of library books for orphanages
across the country (a project now carded
for 2011), or volunteering for a youth
mentorship program the grand dame
of fashion herself, Claudia Pegus, invited
us to be part ofFlavours ofJazz, a charity
Aliyyah Eniath, Editor-in-Chief event in support of Trinidad and Tobago
Cancer Society Vistas House for terminally
taS tiont v E J azzill patients.
SWe'd previously contributed to Pegus's
Sd ) E oThe Big Give for Haiti street fair and
market via the Red Cross, which was an
incredible success, and were hungry for
to I ) ( .. another opportunity to join forces for an-
other worthy venture.
Flavours ofJazz featured a fashion presen-
tation at Satchmosjazz Restaurant; models
strutted the ramp to smooth jazz music
provided by Patti Rogers and saxophonist
Francis Prime. Guests were further titil-
lated as Wilmot Merrick, Satchmo's re-
vered chef, whipped up his Cajun fritters
in cucumber ginger relish and his sauteed
peppered prawns with Julie vegetables.
Caribbean Belle was at hand to sponsor
persons to attend this event, and give our
own financial contribution to the cause.
Our Alpha Woman columnist, Salisha
Baboolal, known for selflessly dedicating
her time to many a worthy cause, was re-
cently appointed a Local Ambassador for
the Growing Leaders Foundation a char-
ity focused on growing leaders out of the
nation's youth. The foundation targets
primary school children, and implements
an approved curriculum, incorporating
aspects of the regular syllabus with an
emphasis on early training in leadership.
Caribbean Belle is also a recent volunteer
with Growing Leaders, and will work with
its founder, Sallyann Della Casa, and
team, next year, as their program takes
the nation's schools by storm.
This issue, we feature an extremely spe-
cial and honorary guest who knows all
about "giving back." I know you cannot
wait to turn our pages to our feature on
The Honourable Prime Minister, Kamla
Persad-Bissessar, the first female Prime
Minister of Trinidad and Tobago (pg32).
She has proven a great inspiration, more
so, in her effort since being elected, to
give back to the nation's children through
the Children' Life Fund. Caribbean Belle
recently supported Bombay Dreams, a
charity event in honour of the fund.
As a Caribbean Belle fan, we know that
you're also eager to give back. Thus, 15%
of each subscription sale in the year 2011
will be given to charity. We also wish to
support our loyal supporter, Republic
Bank Limited, in their Make a D .. ..
Fund for Sick Children initiative (see ad-
vertorial on page 4). We humbly request
that you make a donation at any branch
of Republic Bank, Account # 180-482-
In this spirit, we thank our readers and
subscribers for helping us to help oth-
ers. It is for you that we toil to make this
magazine the best it can be. As always we
appreciate your feedback at caribbean-
firstname.lastname@example.org. Till next time, cheers!
17 JANUARY 2010 www.caribbeanbelle.com
For a super-efficient overall clean in
preparation for the holidays, wipe
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well as the outside. These areas are
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or marks can be hard to remove.
Cif Power Cream Kitchen Spray
can shift even the toughest stains
and has a directable nozzle for
2 Holiday seasons make you feel like
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and ensure it's clean and welcoming for
visitors by spraying the tiles, taps and
basin with Cif Power Cream Bathroom
Spray. It easily removes water marks
and limescale without damaging surfaces,
giving gleaming results.
Ensure your guestroom is fragrant and inviting. Leave the window
open for a while to let in fresh air, give it a good clean, and add
a vase of scented flowers. Avoid a musty smell by making up
the bed at the last moment with crisp ironed sheets sprinkled
with a little lavender water.
Using that Barbeque Grill often? You can keep that grill clean
with the original Cif Cream Cleaner. Moisten and apply a few
drops of Cif Cream on the surface. Use a clean and damp cloth
to clean it. Wash the cloth and repeat the procedure. Use a
hard-bristles brush with a few drops of Cif Cream to clean the
quick & eas}
ways to clean
Your garden chairs may need a revamp after being constantly beaten
by the weather. Cif Cream Cleaner is great for cleaning plastic furniture.
Get the chair wet and use a damp piece of cloth with a few drops of Cif
Cream Cleaner to clean it. Rinse and dry the chairs. They will look like new again!
Friends and family coming to see your new
house for the first time? Remember first
impressions count. So make sure every room
is spotlessly clean and uncluttered. Vacuum
and dust thoroughly and get all surfaces
gleaming in the kitchen and bathroom.
Cif Power Cream Kitchen and Bathroom Sprays
have Active Shield Technology, which covers
surfaces with a protective shield to help prevent
further build-up of dirt.
To make cleaning much speedier, use a product that will
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build-up. Cif Power Cream Sprays have an invisible
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Buy one specifically for your kitchen and one for your
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Doing a lot of cooking over the holidays?
The backside of pots and pans can develop
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Wet a sponge and apply three drops of Cif
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Revive kitchen or bathroom tiles by giving them
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grout pen (from hardware shops) along the joint.
Limescale is hard to remove once it's present. Prevent
any build-up by cleaning with Cif Power Cream
Bathroom Spray with Active Shield Technology, which
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an old toothbrush somewhere handy and use it for
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Introducing CIF POWER CREAM SPRAYS
WITH ACTIVE SHIELD TECHNOLOGY
FROM THE CIF FAMILY COMES A NEW RANGE
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So in your Kitchen !r.e Cif Power Cream Kitchen Spray helps to
prevent further grease, burnt-on-food ard spillages from
hardening and 1~i, I;,-, r,- Kitchen surfaces
W*i r,. in .. uj bathroom, the Cif Power Cream Bathroom Spray
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The result: Stubborn stains wipe away
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CIF'S ACTIVE SHIELD TECHNOLOGY.
Try them today!
the belle list
Simple Derma range is ideal for skin that
is dry, sensitive or prone to itchy, irritating
conditions such as Eczema and Dermati-
tis. This unique and innovative range was
prepared by skin experts to give immedi-
ate soothing effects and long lasting care.
*Clinically proven to see results in 4 days
*Suitable for adults and children
Formulated to revitalize and hydrate tired,
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by brightening skin tone and refining tex-
*Light reflecting particles boost skin's nat-
" M 'li., extract hydrates and refines skin
* Leaves skin smoother and healthier
*Dermatologically tested and approved
This anti-wrinkle range is formulated with
the goodness of Iris Extract and a vitamin
and mineral complex to repair and replen-
*Clinically proven to reduce fine lines in
just 4 days.
At first glance, you'd swear that Being
Sustainable furniture is made from wood.
But not a single tree has been cut down
to make it.
This line of elegant outdoor furniture is
made from recycled material plastic milk
bottles or rice husk. It offers numerous
advantages over products made of wood,
rattan and even metal. It is tough and du-
rable; there is no need for stripping, sand-
ing, painting or varnishing. With this fur-
niture you won't have to deal with mold,
mildew, rust or decay. The furniture can
withstand rain or shine all year round and
is virtually maintenance-free.
But furniture is just the beginning. Being
Sustainable offers a vast array of products
- umbrellas, awnings, glassware, flatware,
linen, towels, outdoor art and virtually
anything for your indoor or outdoor de-
cor needs. Visit them at the House of Be-
ing Sustainable, #8 Dove Drive, Pax Vale,
Santa Cruz, (T) 868 676 6165 (E) info@
Pantene Medium-Thick Hair Solutions
Heat Protection & Shine Spray protects
hair against heat styling damage while
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Why? Pantene's research has uncovered
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How? Pantene's innovative heat protection
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Usage: Pantene's Heat Protection & Shine
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ing, and apply liberally section by section.
For hair that's shiny and healthy, use with
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The Way To Beautiful Skin of Every Age
Recommended by Leading
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This charity event, in honour of the Children's Life Fund, held
under the patronage of The Honourable Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar, took place at Hilton Trinidad and Conference
Centre in early November.
Style icons, Peter Elias, Meiling, Heather Jones and House of
Jaipur presented runway collections inspired by the Indian con-
Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, took the ramp (after the
first runway presentation by House of Jaipur) pleased with her
success in raising funds for the charity. Attorney General Anand
.. Ramlogan accompanied her to the cheers of the audience. Mod-
els, Member of Parliament Stacy Roopnarine and Member of
Parliament Romona Ramdial, brought on the colourful presen-
tation by Peter Elias to the tune of Ravi Bisshembar.
Bottom, right ,' left to right) Disha,
Heather Jones, .l, .., and Peter Elias at
the runway show finale
Bottom, left, Attorney
gan and Prime Minister
Kamla Persad Bissessar
B On Spot
(left) Ecliff Elie, men's wear designer
(below, left) Crystal
ofT&T Top Model
former Miss Universe
Top Model Trinidad & Tobago (TMTT) competition is produced by
Coco Velvet International Model Training Academy. Over seven hun-
dred hopefuls were screened with thirty-one making it to the finals. The
show concluded with Makin Style Gala Fashion Collections on August 7th,
and the Top Model competition on August 8th. Top Model 2010 winners
(female and male respectively) are Crystal Noreiga and Dale Maxima.
Nalini Edwards who won second place won people's choice.
Makin Style Gala Fashion Collections, modeled byTMTT contestants, is an
annual fashion week with young talent in mind. It opened with fashion pre-
sentations by University ofTrinidadand Tobago (UTT) graduates followed by
scintillating designer presentations from Spice Rack Designs and Meiling.
Day two witnessed Sandra Hordatt's acclaimed swim wear presentation
for men and women and Ecliff Elie's menswear collection; and, for the
first time in Trinidad, Maurice Sedwell, bespoke tailors of Savile Row,
London, showed an exquisite line of handcrafted suits designed by Profes-
sor Andrew M. Ramroop.
Anticipation was high at the close of the evening for the announcement of
TMTT winners. The jury included local and international celebrities: Ba-
batu Sparrow (fashion designer), Savile Row Master Tailor Andrew Ram-
roop, Paul Pryce, Dominique Armorer, John Bilboa (Director of Elite
Latin and South America) Wendy Fitzwilliam, Giselle La Ronde-West,
Peter Elias, Calvin French, Meiling, Heather Jones and Claudia Pegus.
Top Model Trinidad and Tobago 2010 (female), Crystal Noreiga, won an
all expense covered trip to Shanghai, China, to represent Trinidad & To-
bago at the Elite Model Look 2010 International Finals as well as mod-
eling contracts with Micles and the Caribbean Academy of Fashion and
Design at UTT. TMTT 2010 (male) won an all expense covered trip to
New York for an interview with a major Manhattan model management,
a US$1000.00 cash award and a modeling contract with the Caribbean
Academy ofFashion and Design at UTT.
Elite Model Look is the largest international model search covering over
fifty countries and 350,000 applicants worldwide. Elite Model Manage-
ment has launched the careers of many of the world's top models since
the agency began operations in 1971, including Naomi Campbell, Linda
Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford and more recently Adri-
ana Lima and Gisele Bundchen (one of the highest paid models in 2009).
n its second year Summer Sizzle BVI
blazed into Tortola, bringing with it
famous designers, scorching fashion,
and hot models. Billed as "the ulti-
mate fashion getaway", the three-day
event did not disappoint, with orga-
nizers trying to ensure that this sec-
ond season far out-sizzled the first.
The festivities kicked off on Thurs-
day, July 22nd with the Culture Style Wel-
come PoolParty sponsored by the BVI Min-
istry ofEducation & Culture, and ended on
July 25th with an all day sailing excursion
to Virgin Gorda, one of the world's most
pristine tropical islands. Style influencers
and fashionistas alike also attended an el-
egant White Sunset Fashion Party at "1748"
restaurant located within the luxurious
Long Bay Beach Resort.
The highlight of Summer Sizzle BVI was
Global Glamour, a spectacular fashion show
held at the Sir Rupert '. ''" Hall in the
center of Tortola. The show was headlined
by LA-based Kevan Hall, a favorite to Hol-
lywood A-list actresses and Project Runway
finalist Korto Momolu. Joining them were
noted New York designers Cesar Galindo,
LaQuan Smith, Aqua Couture by Roger
Gary, and Johnny Vincent Swimwear. Also
presenting their collections were Millhouse
Menswear, The Cloth by Robert Young, and
the BVI's own Kristin Frazer of Trefle Designs.
Out in the spotlight the show was hosted
by Joel Steingoldco host of Clean House
on The Style Network, and That Morning
Show on E! Entertainment. Backstage, over-
seen by show producer Margo T. Lewis,
worked celebrated New York based fash-
ion stylists Carlton Jones and Memsor
Kamarake, alongside legendary makeup
artist Ashunta Sheriff, celebrity hairstylist
Giselle Modeste, and make-up artist Theo
A. Faulkner. The team groomed and styled
an international cast of gorgeous models for
the runway, among them Sessilee Lopez,
Georgie Badiel, Arlenis Pena Sosa, Tara
Gill, and Wendell Lissimore.
Originally created in 2007 by Terry Dono-
van, Summer Sizzle BVI began as a fashion
show with the purpose of promoting the
British Virgin Islands. Since then, Terry's
vision has culminated into a five-day fash-
ion and lifestyle event which has attracted
thousands of visitors from the Virgin Is-
lands, neighboring Caribbean islands and
the USA, and brings together a number of
leading international and regional design-
ers, industry executives, models, celebrities,
international media and affluent profession-
als and influencers from around the globe.
Britsh Vrg n sands Summer
26 JANUARY 2010 www.caribbeanbelle.com
Caribbean Fashion Week (CFW) established by Pulse Investments Ltd.
remains the region's largest, most recognized and internationally respected
fashion event. CFW opened on June 15th-21st, 2010, celebrating the
best of Caribbean designers and the model faces of Neil Robinson,
Jaunell McKenzie, Sedene Blake and Oraine Barrett. The launch party
was crowded with top models, would-be models, past models and beauty
queens, and proceeded three nights of runway fashion which unfolded
at the National Indoor Auditorium where colour, fabric and style
mingled to captivate potential buyers. Headline acts on individual nights
included Johnny Gill, Katia Cadet, Una and Gramps Morgan.
The Cloth has come to represent
a unique Caribbean aesthetic. Its
founder, Robert Young is de-
scribed as subversively nationalis-
tic while influenced by the wider
region, a quality which provides
the perfect backdrop for his prac- \ I
tical, colorful and playful designs.
This collection features playful
silhouettes, his"maybe I'll get at-
tention"skirts, yards of fabric held
together by visionary waistbands .
and sensual plunging v-necks in
earthy tones accentuated by wild
Opulence juxtaposed organic in
this Uzuri International collec-
tion. Flowing fabric with sequins,
feathers, cuffs and embellish-
ments adorned the exquisitely
clad models as they strutted
their stuff on the catwalk.The
line showcases the plantation
lifestyle with its peasant class and
the landed gentry, hence eye-
catching peasant blouses, flow-
ing frocks and fantastic gowns.
Swimwear was also incorporated,
the favorite being a lime-green
embellished bikini with flowing
28 JANUARY 2010 www.caribbeanbelle.com fabric fitted to cuffs on the wrist.
Mutamba's designs were posi-
tively alluring.The designer uses
only natural fabrics (cotton, linen,
silk) and dyes. Each item is hand-
crafted into easy, breezy simplic-
ity featuring tye-dye, afrocentric
patterns and motifs, rainbow
colours and softly flowing fabric.
Kenea Linton's designs were
sophisticated with a fiesty femi-
nine flair, that recalls the timeless
elegance of Audrey Hepburn in
Breakfast at Tiffany's, fused with
a modern twist featuring clean
cuts, pencil skirts, belted waists,
structured blouses, lace and edgy
sheaths with designs in luxurious
Meiling's all black collection was
a showstopper.The line features a
potent recipe of clean, crisp lines and
signature understated elegance with
sculptured silhouettes topped with
knife edged pleats and tucks in pure
Julan Dyke uses her fascination
with the Victorian era (a period
she describes as the beginning
of modern times when many
artistic styles flourished) to en-
gage the discerning fashionista,
hence solid bodices, high necks
and peasant top elements. This
collection reflects a mixture of
periods into a combined theme
featuring short hemlines, signa-
ture pockets, timeless colours
and materials in silks, cotton and
linens. A favorite is a regal purple,
sculptured overcoat dress, with
layered button-down design.
B Good Advice
Most women (unless they're blessed with great genes or are Kim
Kardashian) crave long, lustrous, healthy hair. This is not hard to
come by. Here are some invaluable tips from our hair expert, Kerry
Mohammed, owner ofKerry's Salon.
You are what you eat
Hair is mainly comprised of protein; therefore, a protein rich diet will
contribute to healthy hair growth. Other essential minerals and nutri-
ents also play a role. Here are the food sources we suggest:
Salmon equals Beautiful. This food is an excellent source of omega 3
fatty acids (used to support the scalp), B12 and iron.
Beans & Legumes are a great source of protein, as well as iron, zinc
and biotin. Try three cups of beans per week.
Nuts are not only a rich source of protein but also a good source of
selenium and zinc. Try walnuts, almonds and pecans.
Green & Yellow Fruits and Vegetables are a good source of Beta-car-
otene (another essential mineral). They are also a good source of vita-
min A, which the body needs to produce sebum, a substance secreted
by the hair police that acts as a natural hair conditioner.
Water. Yes, water plays an essential part in the structure of our hair
as well as our skin. So a sufficient intake at regular intervals will not
only remove toxins from our systems but also carry necessary nutrition
throughout the body and essentially our hair.
Apply Me: Organic Oils
Organic oil application is a natural and highly effective method of
hair repair. You can make or purchase natural oils and indulge in
luxurious at-home treatments. When applied correctly, these oils can
provide immediate results and boost the health of both the hair and
scalp. Note: It is important to wrap the hair after evenly distributing
with your choice of oil to prevent drying and itchy scalp. During or
after these treatments avoid any excessive heat so as not to "process"
Avocado oils aid in healthy growth and reduce hair loss; the sterols in
avocado oils help to heal the scalp and moisturize the hair.
Jojoba oil is very similar to the scalp's natural sebum, this oil is a very
good conditioner and increases growth; it would also control dandruff
and dry scalp.
We are all familiar with coconut oil, which is readily available to us
in the Caribbean. The pure oil can be used to massage the scalp and
steam the hair; this will not only strengthen the roots of the hair but
also add shine and condition.
Another favorite is virgin olive oil, which is an excellent carrier oil
and can be used as a deep conditioner for dry hair as well as an active
Known as liquid gold, Argan oil surpasses the properties of olive and
jojoba oil. This oil is rich, lightweight, non-greasy and penetrates the
hair to provide deep conditioning and add intense luster; it eliminates
frizz, adds UV protection, promotes manageability and contains an-
These oils are known for aroma and therapeutic value but can be
used to stimulate hair growth and restore health and shine through
cleansing, nourishing and strengthening of the hair follicle and
shaft. They can be used with no side effects and with any of the
above-recommended organic oils for enhanced results.
Chamomile, lavender and ylang ylang are used individually or
in combination to remedy brittle hair; apply only a few drops for
softer, fuller hair.
Rosemary, lavender and geranium are used for the removal of
dandruff and prevention of flaking.
A few drops of rosemary, sandalwood and patchouli in some jo-
joba oil will help significantly in improving damaged hair.
5 things to DO
Do make a few changes to your diet and lifestyle (suggested
above) and with the use of some readily available treatments you
can be well on the road to beautiful hair.
Do eliminate smoking, caffeine and carbonated beverages to
maximize growth potential.
Do avoid excessive heat and harsh cleansers and chemicals.
Do manage your stress levels. This plays an important role in the
body's ability to grow and generate nutrition.
Do get regular trims and treatments and seek the advice of your
knowledgeable stylist who will ensure that you are on the right
-Irk . .... li
.... ....r..L;II i I "
.11 ti~H H.
a t.,;: 'I
Sherry Seegulam (right),
CEO of Skin Deep Salon
and Spa attends spa con-
ferences across the world.
A connoisseur of aesthetics
and graduate of Christine
Valmy International School
and International Institute
of i. Florida, Ca-
ribbean Belle pegged her to
offer solutions for irritably
dry and oily skin
Dry, itchy, flaky
A lot of women aren't aware that warm or hot
showers actually dry up and age skin. Though
we live in the tropics we still love heating up the
bathroom. Try to stop. Use running water at room
temperature and finish off with a splash of cold for
that refreshing feel.
Sometimes dryness and accompanying irri-
tation are caused by certain soaps, itchy clothing
or wrong moisturizer and/or moisturizing tech-
niques. It's best to apply moisturizers (preferably
unscented) when skin is slightly damp or towel
dried to lock in moisture. If dryness and itching
continue consider whether you have a medical
condition such as diabetes or hypothyroidism.
Soak in your tub or take a long shower; then apply
a generous amount of moisturizer, preferably one
with hyaluronic acid which helps the skin retain
it's natural moisture balance.
Use topically applied vitamins- such as vitamin
A which inhibit collagen breakdown while stimu-
lating collagen production, for supple, healthyskin.
Vitamin E (burst vitamin E capsule and apply)
provides barrier protection while soothing skin.
Lastly, seek anti-aging or exfoliating facials
with hydroxy acids and super rich moisturizers
recommended by your dermatologist or aestheti-
Pat me dry skin
Sebum oil, produced by the sebaceous gland, con-
trolled by androgen hormones, can bring on oily
skin during puberty, monthly cycles, or meno-
pause. Oily skin can also be hereditary or brought
on by certain cosmetics or contraceptive pills.
Oftentimes, oily skin results in acne. When
sebaceous glands produce too much oil it spills
into the skin's surface. This oil acts as a binder,
holding on to dead skin cells meant to be shed.
The skin follicles become clogged with oil and
dead cells, prohibiting oxygen from entering. This
creates a breeding ground for bacteria, which leads
to redness and inflammation around the follicle
resulting in acne.
Treat oily skin with high frequency facials using
glycolic and salicylic acids (which have anti-in-
flammatory properties) that help to detach dead
skin cells that contribute to clogged follicles and
Glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane, ap-
ples and grapes. It's natural and gentle and easily
applied on inflamed pustules to help them dry up
Of course, home care is essential. Always
wash your face at night to remove excess dirt and
make-up. Use a mild cleanser and avoid oil-based
cosmetics (in favour of water based ones)..4
. . 1 . i I I iI
I first shook hands with The Honourable Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar at Bombay Dreams charity event, in
aid of the The Children's Life Fund, a mere few days ago. She
uttered the words "thank you" in a warm, heartfelt manner,
as she was indeed grateful to all who supported the event.
She stated unequivocally that night, that her speech at
that event was in fact the most important she has made since
being elected because the cause was so close to her heart.
She was overjoyed that a hospital in the United States had
agreed to admit some cases of critically ill children from her
country, free of charge. This passion for the well being of the
children of Trinidad and Tobago indeed gains her recogni-
tion as the Mother of the Nation.
Her realness was evident from day one, as members of
the Caribbean Belle team had the honor of working with her.
Calvin French, our creative director, says, unapologetically,
"The camera loves her;" and Peter Elias who has overseen her
Hilary Clinton-esque wardrobe, remarks on her uniqueness
and authenticity, "No look has been invented for her; she
was not made to look the part; she is who she is. She was
natural." Indeed, she's as charming as she looks, and as fierce
and fearless as her position demands.
As beloved Prime Minister, her strength radiates from a
wholesome ability to connect with people; a refreshing and
necessary trait, especially for people who have felt discon-
nected from leaders of the past. When asked how someone
as graceful as her handles tough political life she says, "We
have to do it!" And one instantly believes her.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar received multiple awards interna-
tionally from Time, Foreign Policy and Glamour less than
five months after creating history in her native Trinidad and
Tobago through a landslide victory in the 2010 general elec-
tions as leader of a coalition party, and more significantly, as
the first female Prime Minister.
In her Glamour"Woman of the Year" acceptance speech,
the Prime Minister thanked her mother, Rita, who passed
on long before her daughter made history. Indeed this was
fitting, as Persad-Bissessar's earliest memory of a woman's
struggle for equality in the developing Caribbean (1960's),
was of her mother.
When Persad-Bissessar was 16 (she was born April 4,
1952) she had the nearly unheard of ambition to go to Eng-
land to further her studies. For a girl growing up in rural
Penal and the daughter of a traditional Hindu father, this
was downright taboo. Her father preferred that she followed
tradition by settling into marriage and motherhood.
But her mother battled with him, and won.
Persad-Bissessar's struggle for the advancement ofwom-
en, and the safety and security of children, is quite evident in
her personal and political life. She affirms in the aforemen-
tioned speech: "I hold this award up for the young girls and
their parents. I want you to know that it's OKto dream big
dreams. The world is your oyster!"
Persad-Bissessar spent an eventful four years working
and studying in England, encountering white racism, and
falling in love with future husband Dr Gregory Bissessar.
Moreover, she was determined that her life would be dedi-
cated to equal opportunities for women in education; equal
opportunity for all.
Love and family took her to Jamaica in the early
1970s, where her husband was studying medi-
cine at the Mona Campus and she, lecturing.
Her fourteen year stay in that country, at a time
when black power was being asserted by Jamai-
ca's culture more than any other island, empowered her with
that sense of truly being a Caribbean citizen. She remembers
the days of violent, dangerous gang wars and spending one
entire night on campus on the hard, concrete floor of the
female bathroom (the safest place to be) as bullets ricocheted
But what truly left its indelible mark was reggae music,
and thus began her love affair with Bob Marley's legendary
style and the expression of her own dreams eminent in her
defining 'No Woman No Cry' speech (2007):
"I have often been the lone woman's voice in a huge sea
of men. That is what I have stood out for in my political ca-
reer...being the first woman to do several things. I remember
clearly what drove my decisions in those days as I voted for
certain bills, and as I contributed to debates in Parliament
and took certain stances in the country. It was the full and
complete knowledge that I was in a rare position...as one
of the few female representatives of this country...it was my
duty to assume the natural role of mother when it came to
In that sea of men who argued and cussed each other...I
knew I had to be the rare voice of fairness, nurturing, caring
and love. I knew that my vote was always influenced by the
thought of how those policies or stances would affect the
heart, mind and bodies of the country. My maternal instincts
made me choose sometimes not by my head, but my heart.
But as any true mother, those instincts were never wrong.
And so, I cared for the people of my constituency, my party
and the nation, as a mother. I did it because of the great love
of my country. I am the woman who has awoken and I will
never turn back."
On her return to Trinidad and Tobago in the 1980s, the
35 JANUARY 2010 www.caribbeanbelle.com
now seasoned academic saw the social and economic changes
her country had undergone under the George Chambers led
PNM and she fell right into the One Love spirit of unity and
hope that had captured the island for the first time in its
highly polarized ethnic and religious political culture. She
entered politics with the NationalAlliancefor Reconstruction
as an alderman in Siparia's Regional Corporation, saying her
dream was simply to ensure that people of the rural commu-
nities from which she hailed did not continue to suffer from
neglect and poverty.
Her sense of justice, fair play, and equality coupled with
a genuine desire for education for all clearly reflected in her
success with Universal Secondary Education in 2000, when
she served as Minister of Education motivated her to climb
taller political ladders; she became the first Indian woman
and indeed the first woman to be her country's Attorney
General, acting Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, Politi-
cal Leader and then Prime Minister in the United National
Congress (a party she labored for under the mentoring of her
former political guru, Basdeo Panday, for over 20 years).
Her whirlwind success in defeating Basdeo Panday as
leader of the UNC, uniting all opposing parties, and defeat-
ing the powerful PNM regime under Patrick Manning in a
mere five months is as legendary as it is exceptional in per-
haps any political history of any country. Her mantra then
till now was "Serve the People," "Serve the People," "Serve
the People," and "We Will Rise."
Now that she has risen, it's business as always for this
unique woman. She has gained critical acclaim for her pio-
neering contribution to politics and social restructuring and
gender equality in the world. As Prime Minister, she has
continued that trailblazing style of leadership that is a mix
of her independent, intelligent, charismatic, compassionate
and lovable personality. She has taken on the difficult task
of transforming Trinidad & Tobago's economy with some
tough measures, but has found time and money (admittedly
by a salary cut for herself and her Cabinet Ministers) to raise
funds for children in need.
And when this very busy woman finds a few moments
for herself, it's still to be "Kamla"- the family woman who
listens to Bob Marley and who loves to spend time with her
Four year old Christiano, her grandson, does not see his
beloved grandma as the woman who history will record in
more ways than can be listed. He still grabs her cell phone
and reminds whichever powerful global leader is on the line
with the Prime Minister at the moment that "That's my
mama." And at the end of the day, that's just fine with her.
_W This article was a collaborative effort between Aliyyah Eniath
(introduction) and Sasha Mohammed. Special thanks to Justin Joseph.
r ,-. .
He alinHt -I
I.. "1L J .I R
GLAMOR IN BOLD
Say goodbye to little black
dress, and hello RED. Wear
your red in silk or cotton
with pearls, diamonds, se-
quins and laced-up heels
Photographed at House ofBeing Sustainable
www. being-sustainable. corn
Dress bv Peter Eliis
lenller bv 212 AcceissoriFs
shoes bv B l.ini\ trom Bang Bang
Dress and jewellery by Peter Elias
Shoes by Blaanix from Bang Bang
JewesTT7 I nSr
(right) Dress byCarnaby Street
K W; ... ...................... -- n" '
Get the L(
with MAC's Gisel Calvillo
Wherever you're going, whatever you're do-
ing, it only takes a few minutes to recreate
that runway look. According to Senior Artist
at MAC Cosmetics, Gisel Calvillo, these few
minutes every woman should prioritize.
"It really only takes a few minutes to get
it right," she says, pausing with a brush in
hand to emphasize her point. Calvillo is in
Trinidad to participate in the Mac in Mode
programme (an interactive make-up course
designed for MAC customers). Here, she del-
icately applies demo make-up unto the face
of a model, as she chats with Caribbean Belle.
"Certain looks are adaptable to every
woman," she notes. "Like red velvet lips." Her
model smiles and nods slightly in agreement.
not harsh or extreme. The most important
part is to line closer to the lash line and soften
and blend into the skin."
Calvillo's hands move expertly over the
model's cheekbones, accentuating them. She
recommends the look she calls the 'voile veil.'
"It's about wearing your make-up but not
where it is overdone," she explains. "It is still
make-up that you could see, but I would say
The voile veil look is about diffusing co-
lour so that it looks naturally blended into
the skin and there are no harsh lines so that
one cannot see where the color ends.
Calvillo also recommends the cashmink
application, which provides a cashmere fin-
ish. "It is almost making the look a part of
you, playing with skin texture and using skin
as an art form," she said.
This, she explains is all part of the evo-
lution of make-up, "Before, it was absolutely
about change." She is almost finished with
the model, as the look she describes comes to
life. "It was almost like every person had that
idea in their head about recreation, so that it
was about changing your eyes, lips, nose...
everything. Now, it is about enhancing your-
self and making it a part of you."
She noted that in the 1990s, the trend
was to create the matte skin. "Everything was
porcelain with no shine," she explains. "Now,
skin is the next predominant feature of your
face, so it is highlighting the face and using
products with a shimmer."
To get this look, she recommends MAC
Strobe Cream, an iridescent cream which she
says can be used on the higher cheekbone
area. Continued on pg80
left. Gisel Calvillo
Calvillo's face is as flawless as the model
she fusses over; a demo in itself. "That look is
beautiful," she continues. "The lip is some-
thing that is very sexy. I believe that every
woman needs to have a red lipstick. If you
are not into red, you can choose wine or bur-
gundy. It does not have to be pronounced;
you can just put the pigment on the top for
that velvety finish."
"Then, there's always going to be a black,
smoky eye for every season," she imparts,
looking at the shape of her model's eyes. "For
this I recommend the MAC Smolder-eye Kohl
pencil, an eyeliner that is really very creamy.
To apply it you need the #219 brush. That
helps to make the smoky eye glamorous but
It was a man. He was just standing there, partially hidden behind
a tree, waving at me.
"Gosh, that dog nice. I wish I could pet him. Why you don't open
the gate for me, so I could pet him?"
Well, I wanted to touch the dog just as much, so as I was about to
open the gate, the same dog started barking louder than I had ever
heard in my young life. His barks were so loud that my aunt came
running down the stairs screaming to the man to get out! It was
only years later that I understood what that man really wanted.
What stuck with me from that incident was the warning bark of
that dog. He obviously knew there was danger and was protecting
me. Dogs definitely have an affinity for sensing what's to come -
the infamous sixth sense.
Fast forward thirty-two years, and I am the proud mum of two
canine kids. My girl, Tequila and my boy, Remy Martin are Impe-
rial Shih Tzus. Yes, I am one of those people whose dogs have bet-
ter lives than some humans, and I make no apologies for it: from
their Coach collars to their personal groomer, from their gourmet
diet to their designer beds, in our home, "a dog's life" is indeed
I the best life.
In our family, I am the Alpha Female. While my dogs bring me
Comfort, security and unbridled love, they look to me for these
Things and more. Nothing beats coming home to my dogs paws,
licks, jumping around in circles. It's as if they're seeing me for the
first time, every time.
My dogs have been with me for almost a decade and within that
time, we've been through many changes: family illness, marriage,
divorce, births and deaths. Through it all, the one constant has
been my faithful companions.
O u tlo o k: They're the most attentive audience when I practice my presenta-
tions for work. They've waited patiently as I decided what to wear
W/ag s, c ks and lessons for a big night out. Their looks are almost quizzical when I dance
f around the kitchen, cooking and singing at Continued on pg 80
Diary of an Alpha Female
Ever since I can remember, I've always been a dog lover. Truth be C se d
told, I'm an avid animal lover but I especially adore dogs. The ( .
milestones of my childhood were marked less by memories of
events and remembered more by the dogs I've owned.
There was Lassie, my German Sheppard mix; Gigi, my Chihua- .
hua; Snowy, my Maltese; Scotty, my Pompek; Basia and Bubbles,
my Akita and Dalmatian, and countless others. But my earliest
interaction with a dog was when I was five years old. My father
had just announced that we had gotten a new dog which was
downstairs at the back of our house. Curiosity getting the better ...
of me, I snuck off to catch a glimpse of him. When I saw him, all
I wanted was to go down those stairs and touch his dark brown
fur. Lost in the novelty, I didn't realize that someone was trying to
get my attention from across the road.
"Hey little girl. That is your dog? She so pretty." .r
48 JANUARY 2010 www.caribbeanbelle.com
S~ ~~~ SS S. .ai
S~ -i 555 S*SS*
5-~O 55 ~ S 5* I ,.
5 5 S S S . S~S
B IMind Body Spirit
"We use a lot of euphemisms when we talk about death, you know. People say things
like, 'You know I lost my father. Ahhhhh he'll turn up.' You gotta stay optimistic with
people like that give 'em reason to hope. 'Have you checked the dumpster out back?
He used to like to take a nap in there.' Keep it upbeat..." George Carlin, "It's Bad for Ya"
I caught this classic Carlin bit on HBO a few months after my dad
died. "You know, I lost my father." Laughing out loud, I heard my-
self saying the words and imagined that the old man might resurface
behind the garage. Thanks, George- a little irreverence goes a long
way, especially on the subject of death.
As far as keeping it upbeat, now that's a tricky proposition. The sim-
ple act of staying busy will occupy the mind and raise spirits. Quieter
moments, however, can invite guilt and regret, neither of which are
ideal guests for afternoon tea. Grief is an unpredictable and unset-
tling wolf at the door; it never calls ahead and it goes straight for the
jugular. The attack may be inevitable, but we can fight back with the
humor and warmth of memories, and it's never too soon to build up
My childhood was wonderfully ordinary in all its suburban
splendor. Smack dab in the middle of middle class, we lived in a
modest yet solid Cape on a quiet street in a close-knit neighborhood.
There was no shortage of kids and just the right amount of drama;
an afternoon squabble could easily turn into a trip to the movies in
our Country Squire wagon. Dad worked hard and remained loyal to
his job of 43 years, while my mother met us at the door after school.
From Little League to meatloaf, we were well within the parameters of
the reasonably functional family of the 70's.
Though blessed with countless recollections of my own youth,
I find myself yearning to know more of my parents' past. Both had
remained close to their roots; my mother had grown up 20 minutes
from our house and Dad was born right up the street. You might
imagine that such limited migratory habits would leave little room
for mystery, but I continued to learn about their lives right up until
the day my father died. Hardly the stuff of romance novels, yet I am
comforted to know that they had experienced a life before the house,
yard, station wagon, dog and two pain-in-the-ass kids. I wish I knew
Oral tradition has played a major role in the preservation of
cultures throughout history. The Hawaiians call it "talk story", the
Chinese engage in "shuoshu", while native American stories honor
natural life as well as human ancestry. Aboriginal "dreaming stories"
weave factual events into tales children can understand and the col-
orful heritage of the Caribbean remains alive in folkloric tales such
as those revolving around Anansi the spider. Cunning and clever, he
outsmarts the gods yet falls prey to his own weaknesses. Sound famil-
iar? Take a look in the mirror and chances are you'll find one mighty
human spider staring back. Are we not, then, legends in our own
I knew my father as the head of the house, the breadwinner, the
voice of cautious reason. He spent most of his life living on the same
street, as did several of his childhood buddies. Dad didn't offer up the
"racier" details of his life until I was much older, but every now and
then I'd catch wind of his exploits through one of the neighborhood
kids. The son of one of my dad's cohorts filled me in on the details
of my father's suspension from school. Apparently, he had dashed
through the halls yelling, "Lemonade, lemonade, 5 cents a glass. Big
as a baby elephant's ass!" When I asked him about it, he dismissed
it as the ramblings of a crazy friend. In spite of his denial, I chose to
believe it and keep it safely filed with my favorite memories of Dad.
Myth or reality, the image of the responsible patriarch as James Dean
brings a smile to my face and a joyful tear to my eye.
From time to time, my mother and I would look at her old pho-
tographs and she would call out the names of laughing girls in plaid
coats with matching hats and handsome boys in uniform. A twinkle
in her eye would identify some of the boys as beaux, while others
were merely friends. Some of them, she said, never came home. I
didn't understand the value of documenting these faces now in my
possession; sadly, their names died with my mother.
WI e text, we tweet and we move at the speed
of broadband. Rarely do we acknowledge
the roses' existence, let alone stop long
enough to smell them. When was the last
time you "talked story" with someone you
Love or admire? Our beloved technology
may threaten the oral arts, but it offers unprecedented opportunities
for capturing our personal history. Ask Grandpa about World War II;
if he's willing, record the conversation with your video camera or cell
phone. Ask Mom for the recipe for her fried chicken, even if cooking
is the furthest thing from your present mind. Write it, record it, get
it on a flash drive, or scratch it into a rock. Do whatever you have to
do to get it down. It's your story, and believe me, you'll be looking to
read and pass it on as the cast of characters dwindle.
My father's final years were lonely ones; he had lost his wife to
dementia and his eyesight to macular degeneration. "Just waiting for
the clock," he'd say when I'd call him in the evening. "You know, I
sure put a lot of miles on this chair." I often found myself frustrated
by his melancholy as I did my best to redirect his sadness without
losing my patience. While he seemed at times determined to keep
company with sorrow, his tired eyes would come alive when I asked
about his glory days at work. He spoke with passion of his miles on
the road as a salesman, and the geniuses and goofballs who accompa-
nied him on his ascent up the corporate ladder. I was delighted and
shocked to find out that he had kept a monkey as a pet. My dad?
The same fastidious man who followed me around the kitchen with
a Dustbuster while I was making a sandwich? My father with a filthy
monkey? Let me get my pen...and, by the way, Dad, I'll take a glass
of that lemonade now. Joan Harrison
aI S ,
B IMind Body Spirit
Blank Facebook Wall
Adanna Shallowe learns to let go when he's not tcht \nto you
It's Friday night and my clock just struck 10. I've checked my mo-
bile phone for the umpteenth time. There are no missed calls or new
text messages. The last time we spoke Mr. Man said, "We should
definitely do something on Friday. I'll call you later this week." Did
I misread the signals? I'm sure we both had a good time, so why
didn't he call?
Many of us have asked these questions, firstly to ourselves, then
to our friends and everyone and anyone who would listen. Men
seem to be genetically predisposed to not call. No one quite knows
what triggers this unusual response but for some reason it al-
ways follows a good date where the female of the human species
is confident that after the event he would call and he never does!
I know that I share this experience with every other woman who
has waited on that elusive phone call. I vividly remember once in
my less experienced single days when I waited for an entire Friday
night for a phone call. Mr. Man was supposed to call and I distinctly
remembered the promise of getting together to do something later
in the week. That promise remained unfulfilled like many similar
ones to follow.
You know what makes matters worse? In this interconnected world
the avenues for communication are now limitless. There is the ever
popular Facebook, cell phone, land line, text messaging and better
yet, Skype. We are literally a hop, skip and a fibre optic link away
from a familiar voice. However, it seems like I still imagine the emo-
tional connections since the absent phone call gets replaced by the
fibre optic link gone awry. There are no notes left on my Facebook
wall, though he has changed his status, posted photos, and poked
and invited our mutual Facebook friends. Yet, he has not connected
- with me!
The great thing about this instant world is that each time I check
my inbox, mobile phone or Facebook wall for the message that never
comes I am instantly reminded that he isn't that into me. This time
the excuses do not come. There is no "Maybe he forgot", or "Did
I send the ji...- - .", or "Maybe he did not have enough time." It
is as plain as the no new messages recording on my voicemail. He is
not that into me or as my best friend once put it, "Girl, he not on
you!"And you know the funny thing is we women strategize Do
I call this time? Should I wait a couple days? Did I do something
wrong? Did I misread things? Why is this so?
If there is one thing I've learnt from all of this is that the natural ten-
dencies of the species are the same. Men hunt what they want, and
regretably, in this case, it's not me. I've resolved not to pine away for
the entire week; the message is as plain as my blank Facebook wall.
I must admit I have hoped against hope that Mr. Man was also
interested in me. Is that so wrong? In high school we used the term
"thirsty" to describe this feeling, and as we got older "desperate" was
a more popular descriptor. I want someone to be my life partner, so
when I meet someone who is amazing and who makes me light up
deep inside is it wrong to want the conversation to continue this Fri-
day, or this weekend or for the rest of our lives? That isn't desperate
is it? You see this is the part that few women talk about. The phone
call is not just a phone call. It is the hope that the person on the
other line likes me as much as I like him. It is a brave thing to walk
the plank, arm myself against potential rejection and admit how I
feel. When the rejection takes the form of a silent phone it stings
especially when I thought a connection was made.
I know dating is a numbers game and this time, like many
others, I struck out. Usually I would have ended this article
by asking all the Mr. Men who stumble upon this article
to call and thank me and others like me for a great time,
admit we are better off as friends, and tie up the loose ends,
so that we're not left wondering what happened. But I de-
cided not to. You win some, you lose some; and like everything
else you learn from the experience. So to all my single sisters in
the trenches, I have given up waiting for the phone call that never
comes. Instead I've been busy with a social calendar that involves me
getting to know the person that matters most myself I decided to
take the advice of our favourite former single gal in the city "The
most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the
one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you
you love, well, that's just fabulous."
And lastly I am no longer a great fan of Facebook..- Adanna
52 JANUARY 2010 www.caribbeanbelle.com
Roxy & Rick When Worlds Collide
TO CONV*4m ME
to 4OMe tOME
CAU- HW GA4M
soeSay ioe, O I TMIW Wel e
C"P*TMA$ IN TONIOADI
WAT aL"D TO'I YOU2 OAD F09 A Orr.
Outlook: Hip & Single
an exploration of expatriate dating
53 JANUARY 2010 www.caribbeanbelle.com
B IMind Body Spirit
Outlook: Trini Abroad
So here I am in France! Eight hours of fly-
ing time, and two trains later. I've passed
through Paris while switching trains, but
I'm actually in Rouen; you know: the capi-
tal of the "Haute Normandie" (upper Nor-
mandy) region in northern France. It's a
very important site historically, known as
the place where Joan ofArc was burnt at the
stake. It's also the home of La Couronne,
the legendary 664-year-old Normandy res-
taurant where the late Julia Childs fell in
love with French food in 1948 this was of
course the inspiration that led to the movie
"Julie & Julia", where Childs was played by
actress Meryl Streep. (I am yet to visit said
restaurant, but word on the street is that
it's one of, if not the oldest restaurant, in
Rouen and its reputation as Child's muse
makes it quite expensive. However, there
must be some nice 'Frenchie' willing to take
me there so I can have the absolute Nor-
mandy food experience, a-la-Childs, right?
I must pause to give many thanks to one
of my oldest and dearest friends, Carla,
for without her I may not have made it to
France with sanity in tact. I am very at-
tached to every shred of clothes, designer
handbag and pair of shoes I own and
wanted them all to fit into two, relatively
medium-sized suitcases. (After all, I was
going to live in a foreign land for seven
whole months!) Carla gave me a much-
needed reality check. Let's just say it be-
gan with me solemnly directing her on
which piles of clothes absolutely had to go
with me on the seven-month journey and
ended with me sitting on the floor at 2a.m.
amidst piles of clothing, shoes and my two
valises, on the verge of tears because it
became too clear that it would be against
all laws of physics...math...the universe,
to carry close to my entire wardrobe half-
way around the world. At last I am very
grateful to have had her voice of reason or
I surely would have been detained at the
airport arguing about the improbability of
putting what could have been fifteen suit-
cases on the plane!
I am in France as a language assistant,
teaching English to students in two ly-
cees or the equivalent of the last three
years of secondary school in Trinidad, with
students aged 15 -18. The one odd thing
I discovered about French schools is that
they seem to go backwards. So, whereas in
Trinidad you would Continued on pg 80
- i -
Call us for your newspaper today!
Phone: (868) 665-1084 / 7118
Etana: A music artst determined to stay
Etana, The Strong One, lived this title when she refused to con-
form to the music industry's eagerness to use sex appeal to
promote female musicians. At the time Universal Records was
interested in her music, Etana did conform to what the label
demanded, till she could no longer ignore her inner voice.
She returned to her Kingston birthplace where she worked
with Kingston's Fifth Element Records, who were then enjoying
success with Richie Spice's single Earth A Run Red and his al-
bum Spice In Your Life. Etana toured with Richie Spice, and was
part of his entourage, performing throughout North America
and Europe. She gained invaluable knowledge of the music in-
dustry through this opportunity, and scored a lucky break: It was
the guitarist and percussionist from Spice's band who worked with
Etana to put together the song that jumpstarted her career: Wrong
Wrong Address was actually based on the experience of Eta-
na's aunt being told to lie about where she lived in order to gain
employment. The compelling single resonates with many hard
working Jamaicans who live in impoverished communities with
a reputation for violence and find themselves unfairly stigmatized
as a result. Wrong Address reached the number one spot on several
56 JANUARY 2010 www.caribbeanbelle.com
true to herself
Since, Etana has worked through music to
deliver dignified words that send a strong,
positive message to Jamaicans and society.
Her message is based on Rastafarian prin-
ciples, which encourage royal treatment to-
wards women and living a natural lifestyle
with an acknowledgment of the teachings
of Marcus Garvey, coupled with sage ad-
vice she has gathered from her grandmoth-
er in early childhood.
Belle: Do you consider yourself to be 'reli-
gious' or 'spiritual'?
Etana: Always spiritual, never religious.
Belle: You said in another interview that
you were very influenced by your grand-
mother. In what ways did she influence you?
Etana: My grandmother taught me how to
survive, how to deal with people, how to
pray, how to be a woman and to believe in
me. I also learnt how to be strong.
I watched her raise six children with bare-
ly any money. She sent them to school and
gave them what they needed without getting
angry. Usually in those days when the bills
piled up people would start drinking, argu-
ing and abusing. My grandmother did none
of that; she made it through with grace. So,
when I get to the hardest point I still relax.
Belle: What are your fondest or most lucid
memories of her?
Etana: Visiting Hope Gardens with her.
I was certain to get ice-cream, though she
didn't have much to give in those days. She
would tell jokes and anancy stories as we
walked through the park. I still remember
the story about "the old lady and the bee"
that was really funny.
In the Caribbean, even in Africa, when
a woman wants to go to the bathroom she
may just squat in some bushes. My grand-
mother warned that that was not ladylike.
The story was about an old woman on a
journey who went under a tree to urinate
and a wasp stung her there. That story stuck
with me, so even now, I would never at-
Belle: What memories did you take with
you when you left Jamaica for the United
Etana: Mostly the ones of my grandmother's
warnings and mindfulness.
Belle: What were some other things that she
warned you of?
Etana: She was adamant that people should
not overstay their welcome, that even a
one year old deserves respect and that your
home should always be your comfort zone
where you relax and not fight.
Belle: How did you adapt in the United
States? Why did you return?
Etana: I adapted well over the years and re-
turned to Jamaica to start an Internet cafe.
But I got caught up in music again as a
back-up singer for Richie Spice.
Belle: Of all the songs you've written, which
is your favorite?
I write most of my songs. I'd say In
Not Afraid. It was written during a pe-
riod where people wanted to make
me different. I wanted to tell every-
one that I'm not afraid of who I am.
Belle: You say that you remain true to the
message in your music. How do you 'keep
it real' and not get influenced by all that is
Etana: What is out there sometimes is dif-
ferent from what goes on in your head. I
tend to stay in my own little world.
Belle: You don't seem like a person who
craves the spotlight. How do you deal with
Etana: I love my fans and I see myself as a
person just like them. The only difference
is, I sing.
Belle: What is your most memorable en-
counter with a fan?
Etana: Once, I was sick and didn't want to
do a show. I think was in Dublin or Cork
and my back-up singer convinced me to
go anyway. She said, "What you can't do,
we will make up for." And after the show
a woman came up to me, crying. She said
she'd waited a long time to see me come
to her country, and thanked me for being
who I am. I hugged her and told her that I
was grateful she was my fan. I told her that
I loved her too and quickly left before the
tears came down my face. I also remember
meeting a few "little Etanas" on the way.
Belle: What's the inspiration behind your
new clothing line, RawSoul?
Etana: I wanted to flip a negative into a pos-
itive and play around with words while in-
troducing style and quality. The collection is
available on my website etanathestrongone.
com as well as Spicy Couture, Collectibles,
Stacie's shop at Half Moon Shopping Vil-
lage and Secrets Hotel.
Belle: What is in store for you in the near
Etana: I will leave it up to the universe and
the most high. My second album Free Ex-
pressions is on the way for February 2011 in
addition to touring and all that good stuff.
-. -Danielle Watson
57 JANUARY 2010 www.caribbeanbelle.com
A memory is just a taste awaQu
during the holiday season people all over the
world turn their thoughts to home. Some of
us will travel far and wide to return there,
some will divide their time between two
countries or two families and others would
simply stay put, for they are already home.
When I wrote Tastes Like Home it was be-
cause I missed the food of home (Guyana).
Food has a special way of connecting me to
my family. It keeps me safe and makes me
feel complete. It helped me to maintain my
identity especially when I felt like an outsider. This year, 2010,
marks twelve years since I have been living in Barbados and
these days when I speak of home I refer to both Guyana (where
I was born and raised) and Barbados as home. So when my col-
league asked me if I was going home for Christmas, I hesitated
because in many ways, I was already home.
Home for many of us living abroad is a merged space that is
made up of our birthplace and the country we now live in. We've
combined the two spaces and made them our own. We've em-
braced and adapted to our new home, the physical space the
country, the neighbourhood and the way of life. I miss Guyana
every day, but I have come to realize that home is more than just
a physical location. It is something deeper; it is the memories
and relationships we carry in our heads and our hearts.
A taste of home can be a lifeline to a happy place and time we
58 JANUARY 2010 www.caribbeanbelle.com
once knew. Through the power of food,
we can be transported to a place from
which we can draw strength and courage
in the face of challenges. Food can humble
us with its simplicity and ability to yield
enough so that we can share it with others.
In time, we come to adapt to the tastes of
our new homes; we create food that now
reflect both our homes. However, no mat-
ter how fancy or attractive the food our
new home is, or how many recipes we
gather from cookbooks, blogs, magazines
or newspapers, at Christmas time, we al-
ways include the familiar. We include
those dishes that remind us, bind us and
connect us to our homes and families; a
taste of home.
(Yield: 10- 12 servings)
2 pounds stew, round or rump beef,
cleaned and cut into large pieces
11/2 pounds pig feet, cleaned (they are sold
11/2 pounds cow-heel (feet), cleaned (sold
1 large scotch bonnet pepper
4 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 (4-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled
and sliced in half
1 dried orange peel (optional)
34 cup cassava cassareep
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
Water to cook meats
1 large pot with cover
1 wooden spoon
Add all the ingredients along with water
3-inches above the ingredients
Transfer pot to stove on high heat, stir to
dissolve sugar, salt and cassareep
Cover pot and let it come to a roaring
boil. Skim off any impurities that floats to
the top of the pot
Reduce heat to medium and let it cook
for 3 hours
Taste the sauce for the right balance of
sugar and salt; it should err more on the
Adjust to taste if necessary
Remove from heat
This dish is best served the following day
after reheating but you can certainly eat it
as soon as it's done
Serve with hearty bread
Pepperpot tastes best the day(s) after it is
made as the flavour develops more.
Each day, after it has been made, the pep-
perpot should be reheated to a boil for 3
minutes, morning and evening.
This dish can be all-beef, or you can use
your own combo of meats
Always use clean utensils when dipping
Bajan Sweet Potato Pie
3 pounds sweet potatoes, boiled and
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon butter, melted
/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
14 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
5 6 slices of pineapple rings (optional)
5 6 preserved cherries (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Combine mashed sweet potatoes, crushed
pineapple, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and
salt and pepper to taste
Turn mixture into a greased baking dish,
smooth the top, garnish with pineapple
rings and cherries
Brush the entire top of the pie with the
melted butter and bake for 40 minutes or
until golden brown
Let pie rest and cool before cutting
Serve warm or at room temperature
The longer the pie cools, the easier it is to
cut into serving pieces.
Cynthia Nelson is the author of the book: Tastes
Like Home -My Caribbean Cookbook (IRP
2010) and the blog Tastes Like Home, www.
59 JANUARY 2010 www.caribbeanbelle.com
* 21bs Split Peas Powder
* 21bs Blue Band Margarine(4 Blue Band Margarine 240g Bricks)
* 2 tsp Baking Powder
* Water (for texture)
* 1-2 drops yellow colouring Sugar Syrup
* 12 can condensed milk 3 Ibs Sugar
* Sizzola oil for frying 6 Cups Water
1. Mix split peas powder, colouring and baking powder
2. Add water until mixture is soft
3. Use a sifter and sift mixture into hot oil
4. Fry until light brown
5. Grind until a powder is formed
6. Place into a large mixing bowl
7. Add condensed milk and Blue Band Margarine
8. For sugar syrup, combine sugar and boiling
water and stir until it forms a thick syrup
9. Add sugar syrup and mix together Q j
10. Using mixture, form into balls
~r 2 r~
-m , /
The first thing you detect on entering Meg Mathews' Pop Box,
the playful name for her slick, condominium style Primrose
Hill home, is the gently sweet scent of French Vanilla candles
from Yankee Candle &rAccessories. Indeed, this A-list socialite,
ex-wife of Oasis' Noel Gallagher, creates a welcoming ambi-
ence for everything she does. The second and third thing to
greet you is the excited Oscar, her Boston terrier, and her more
laid back but equally friendly Pug, Pugalicious. Both Meg and
I have arrived at Pop Box on foot after a short walking tour
of Englands Lane, her local high street in London's upmarket
Regents Park area. We've just left Macs Hair Salon where she
popped in for an early morning cut and blow dry ahead of that
afternoon's scheduled photo shoot.
During our brisk walk Meg points out the health food
shop she visits from time to time, the intimate cafes and bijoux
restaurants dotting the street that she knows as well as the back
of her hand. "I'm a walk about kind of person," she states. "On
mornings like these I can move faster on my feet." Around the
leafy enclave every street is snarled with early morning traffic.
"I'm embracing being green too. I'm actually downsizing from
my Toyota 4x4 to a Toyota iQ." However, she adds, "The 4x4
still will come in handy for trips with Anais back and forth to
her country boarding school. There's also all her sporting equip-
ment to bundle in and out too and her riding gear. She keeps a
pony that she's named Megastar." Anais, born in 2000, is Meg's
daughter with Noel and her only child. An adorable blonde
with a confidently outgoing nature she has just begun boarding
school and according to her mum, "she loves it!"
Meg Mathews is an interesting contradiction. This is the
woman whose little black book is full to bursting with the
names of more super famous friends than you can shake a stick
at. "I was born in Guernsey, an English Channel island, and
moved to South Africa with my family when I was eight." Fi-
nancially solvent now she says, "My parents weren't rich. In
fact they economised to make sure I went to good schools but
I never excelled academically due in part to the difficulties in
studying brought on by dyslexia." She was however a firebrand
at sports and captained several sports teams, which assured her
popularity with her peers and honed her amazing people skills,
which serve her well to this day.
The contradictions in Meg are more to do with her life
than her person. As a person she is consistent. She is friendly,
communicative, engaged with the interests of those around
her and of her friends and family, she is loyal and supportive.
However the girl with dyslexia returned to the UK, lived in a
Brixton squat and eventually, after a series of fashion related
sales jobs, debuted on the major music scene as the manager of
80's pop star Betty Boo. "I had dyslexia, yes," she laughs, "but
now there I was, in little or no time, managing the multi award
winning pop act of the year...and I was tone deaf!" In the years
that followed Meg founded F': ... Music and managed many
more acts. She was a guest of honour in 1997 alongside her now
ex-husband and the top UK's Britpop stars at the then newly
elected Prime Minister Tony Blair's Music Industry Reception
at No. 10 Downing Street.
Meg Mathews at 44; the self made, moneyed, trendsetter
who knows everybody, has everything and what she doesn't have
she'll create herself, like her MM range of must have wallpa-
pers and men's and ladies' scarves. Today as we enter her Pop
Box to be met by Oscar and Pugalicious, Meg is wearing dark
Top Shop jeans, black Zara coat, black All Saints boots, a Louis
Vuitton scarf and carrying a roomy Alexander Wang bag. "One
or two labels mixed with your everyday High Street do the job
nicely," she assures me. Her chic sunglasses? "A stall in Camden
Pop Box is buzzing with activity. An actress friend dashes
up the spiral staircase. It's Sarah Barrand, known to UK telly
fans as Shannon from Footballer's Wives. Meg's mate has recently
finished filming the motion picture The Kid by director Nick
Moran and she's also been appointed Ambassador for the Well
Child Charity. Sarah is round for a lunch and offers to pop out
to nearby Primrose Hill Park to walk Oscar and Pugalicious as
Meg tours me around Pop Box.
In the kitchen, Meg's chef, Sean Paul, is creating Meg's after-
noon and evening meals. A housekeeper is busying herself, the
phone is ringing and deliveries arrive at the door. Still, amongst
all the commotion there is that welcoming French Vanilla scent
and large sun-filled rooms; on the walls in the dining area and
lounge is Meg's trademark wallpaper. This pattern a vibrant
pink, faux snakeskin with a scant hint of metallic bounces a
tropical glow into the rooms. There's a variety of wallpaper ar-
ranged across the two floors of Pop Box.
The Meg Mathews range of wall coverings debuted in May
2010 and is exclusive to Liberty of London, known for their
luxury goods and accessories and one of the most prestigious
department stores in the city. She is Liberty's "golden girl" as
she is given unprecedented support by Ed Burstell and Alex-
ander Stylianidis (two of Liberty's top buyers) as well as Lee
Whittle (head of ladies' wear), and Liberty's Style Service (the
suite for clients using Liberty's personal shopping service that is
itself decorated in MM Wallpaper).
Already Meg has been lavished with two of Liberty's much
sought after windows displaying her MM range of papers and
scarves. MM pieces were displayed in an in-house exhibition
entitled "Prints Charming" and she's been given access to Lib-
erty's print archives and asked to incorporate her design edge to
long standing and traditional Liberty brand print designs.
This new design chapter came about in a serendipitous way
for Meg. Hello Magazine had done a piece on Meg at home,
which showed the wallpaper that she had produced privately for
herself. "Victoria Beckham clocked the designs and one day as
I was walking down Bond Street I received a call on my trusty
white Blackberry directly from Posh asking if I would consider
63 JANUARY 2010 www.caribbeanbelle.com
..... ..... ....
......: ..... .
decorating one of the Beckham homes in my designs." She
IL. *' shares and then corrects herself, chuckling, "She actually
asked me to please come and do her home. I was so flattered.
Thank God for good reception."
S Since May 2010 Meg has worked in the same way on the
'-, .A homes of TV presenter Myleen Klass, Big Brother UK host
S Davina MaCall, fashion designer Julien Macdonald, Roll-
ing Stone's Ronnie Wood's ex-wife Jo Wood and UK Boxing
U 'Champion Ricky Hatton. Meg's lighter than air silk scarves
Bearing Russian nesting doll and rock 'n' roll skull motifs are
proving to be equally as popular.
S"Right now this one is my favourite colourways," Meg
claims of the colours of the faux, snakeskin wallpaper in her
D Jf 1 downstairs rooms. "The faint glow of the pink reminds me
.I -of that surrounding feeling of wellbeing you get in warm
S climes." In her sumptuous boudoir her bed is populated with
Splush pillows and cushions and her walls are a soft coral, faux
snakeskin. The guest room walls have deceptive grey and black
l ^ skull wallpaper that reads as a floral from a distance. Skulls are
Sa pet object for her and reappear around Pop Box a hold over
from her darker, more gothic mansion she shared with Noel.
SIn a bathroom there are two life size skulls, side-by-side, cov-
S ered in tiny crystals. Anais' room is like any other young girl's
with bright, playful colours and girlie touches like a mini
montage picture shrine to the cast of Twilight. Unlike most
little girls though she has a big, personalised, hand signed
i .ai picture of mom's friend, Madonna and across from it an even
bigger personally dedicated one from the meteorically popular
The walls around Pop Box that haven't had the MM treat-
ment are hung with photo prints, small paintings and one large
piece that she stops to caress, "This one I'm absolutely in love
with." It's a pop-art composition of a picture of her and Anais
given to her by her parents. "It was a Christmas gift and my
folks had it produced at Snappy Snaps."
Meg Mathews has led a bustling and opulent lifestyle for
almost two decades. Her good friendships with super models,
music industry giants, film directors, actors, writers, political
figures and media greats have given her a rich seam of stories
that would easily make exciting reading or in fact a very watch-
able film. "I'm not ready to publish any sort of memoir, yet,"
she says when asked of the possibility. "I'm still creating and
experiencing. It's like my MM design company. Suddenly it
was there. It's like a lot of what I do, have done. Nothing is
planned. It all just evolves from one experience to another. In
the case of MM its direction is open ended. I may take things
in yet another direction design-wise but who knows. Life's far
too short to try and define things...or do just one thing. I be-
lieve it's alright to sometimes chop and change. Why can't you
try a bit of. r;- r.i'"
Meg has definitely tried a lot of everything in her day and
talks quite openly of the excesses of a rock royalty lifestyle. "The
drink, the drugs," she states, "They come with the turf and still
do for many. I regret nothing as time always affords you the
chance to change, grow, to turn your life around. That's if you
want to. If you are going to experience something I always feel
that you should jump in with both feet. Others will always
think what they will but that's their prerogative, their life. The
trick is not to hurt anybody along the way. If you hurt yourself
you can recover...like I believe, time will let you."
Meg has had the times) of her younger life travelling the
globe with the likes of her friends Kate Moss and company. She
adores her memories of the warm hospitality of Chris Black-
well's home in Jamaica at Island Records. She has riotous recol-
lections of island hopping with Kate and Kate's ex-partner, ac-
tor Johnny Depp when Meg was still married to Noel. After a
three month, rum punch fuelled stay on Mustique where Noel
recorded What's The Story .11.. J Glory) they hired a private
plane on the spur of the moment to fly to any island that sold
KFC to satisfy Noel's craving. They ended up in St. Vincent
where she said, "We toured the most amazing botanical gar-
dens I have ever, ever seen."
Meg has criss-crossed the world many times and still does,
especially with Anais. "Fortunately for us both I can manage
to do this and it's my thinking that travel augments her con-
ventional education ultimately providing her with an overview
and a broader understanding of her cultural circumstance and
those of other countries."
For Meg, Caribbean islands have always been a favourite
on her world routing. From Barbados' renowned Sandy Lane
Hotel to private rentals of some of the region's most desirable
holiday beach homes, Meg, her cover-girl friends and their
coveted boyfriends have relaxed in them all. "We've been pam-
pered beyond belief at Jamaica's Strawberry Hill." The elite spa
comprised of 11 Georgian style cottages nestled in the island's
Blue Mountains has seen many high calibre guests. "There's
something madly exotic about the place. You're only an hour's
or so drive from the sweltering heat of the coast yet you're snug-
gled up under their massive duvets in their fabulous wooden
beds surrounded by the cool, cool, lushness of the mountains."
Meg has also made repeat trips to Jamaica's Golden Eye exclusive
resort, centred on Ian Fleming's old island home in Oracabessa,
just east of Ocho Rios. "It's got a really chill feeling. There's this
wonderful cliff side dining room and a suave bar just above
your own private beach."
"What can I say about the Caribbean?" she beams. "I adore
your music scene. Lord knows I've met many of the region's
recording artists and performers in studios and at parties. I'm
always agog at the self-styled dancehall inspired street fashion
of some of the Jamaican girls. They're hot! Everywhere the boys
and the girls are just beautiful." Meg is away. "The mixes of
races have created some fabulous faces. And when you get on
the dance floor there is some wild grinding and wining going
down! One on one, two on two...real sexy stuff but it's all in
Meg assures me that food wise she gets her fix of Carib-
bean flavours when she's back in Britain. "I'm straight down to
Shepherds Bush when the taste for roti, saltfish and jerk chicken
takes me. I even like Guinness with condensed milk." We brief-
ly discuss Trinidad and Tobago Fashion Week as I drop her a few
65 JANUARY 2010 www.caribbeanbelle.com
names of Trinidad's great designers, design teams and style pun-
dits from Meiling to Claudia Pegus and Peter Elias. Meg's style
appetite is whet. "I'm hearing good things on Trinidad's fashion
week from some industry friends too and I'd love to be invited
down and support it. And I have yet to see Carnival though I've
admired Peter Minshall's creations from afar for years."
As the decade draws to a close Meg Mathews is as busy as
ever. She has hosted a variety of radio shows, continued to be a
product spokesperson and is very active with a variety of animal
welfare campaigns and charities. It was at Stanmer House in Sep-
tember where Meg, Anais, Oscar and I met as Meg and I judged
at a dog show for UK TV Vet Marc Abraham's Pup
Aid Charity against the cruelty of puppy farming, one of her
Back at Pop Box Meg describes a typical day. Although she
is well into her 40's her energy level is high. A morning person,
she's up at 6:30. Five mornings a week she's down to her gym,
Spring Health, for a cardiovascular workout. Three mornings a
week she works out with her personal trainer, Ben Cook. By
nine she's back to Pop Box, having walked Oscar and Pugali-
cious, showered, and had her energy drink. Her days are PR
meetings; interviews; photo shoots; liaising by phone with
her MM factory in Macclesfield, just outside Manchester and
pouring over ideas for other product ranges. She'll break for
lunch, often with a friend and then it's a round of the shops and
designer boutiques but always with an eye for trend seeking,
sourcing upcoming colours and textures.
When she lunches at home, as she does today, her chef
Sean Paul sees to it that Meg has a meal to reflect where she is
in her training and energy levels. Sean Paul, who has cooked
for many celebs including Sir Paul McCartney, recently worked
with Heather Mills as a consultant at her Brighton vegan cafe
V-bites establishing her kitchen and menus.
Sean Paul tells me that he is re-introducing protein to
Meg's diet as her workouts and workload continue to become
more demanding. Initially to drop pounds she was protein free.
Her morning energy drinks will be energy rich Hippy Hippy
shakes; juices containing spirolina, dried bee pollen as a sugar
substitute and a variety of powder supplements.
For mid-morning elevenses he creates smoothies with car-
rot, beetroot, courgette, cucumber, ginger and seasonal fruit
to sweeten, like apples. She is also fond of his spinach, kale,
alfalfa, blueberry, mango, plum and mineral water blend. For
lunch Sean Paul will produce perhaps a crunchy Asian salad
with sprouting broccoli, green beans, courgette, cucumber, car-
rots, balsamic and soya dressing with Japanese seaweed, sesame
seeds and the dried Japanese condiment, furikake, for a piquant
taste, topped with grilled salmon.
For her late meal Sean Paul will serve something like a Puy
lentil salad with cherry tomatoes, carrots, basil and yellow pep-
pers. This might be topped with grilled fish, turkey or chicken.
Meg always keeps fruit salads and brown rice, which she'll top
herself with soy dressing for between-meal snacks. "Ever so occa-
sionally," she says, "I'll have a piece of red meat when I have a Sun-
day roast with Anais." Sean Paul adds, "Ifyou crave it, have it and
get over it. If you resist eventually you'll break down and binge."
At night time in Pop Box, when Meg is not required else-
where in London's shiny night lights, she relaxes with the box
sets of US shows like MadMen. On nights when Anais is back
from boarding school they cuddle up like best friends and watch
movies. Meg is still into her music and currently she's listening
to David Geta and now to a new soon-to-be signed London
band Panning For Gold. Our rock and roll chick is up to her
bedroom in Pop Box by 10pm these days where she'll drift off
after another full and productive day with the lingering scent
of autumnal bark, smoky musk and Russian leather of a John
Galliano candle. Of the Meg Mathews today she says easily, "I
love life...all of my life." And of the Meg Mathews of time gone
by? "Maybe I loved life too much.".,
Connect with Meg Matthews at www. megmathews. co. uk
Connect with author/artist Peter Jarrette at www.facebook.com/
66 JANUARY 2010 www.caribbeanbelle.com
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"Women in difficult circumstances
have been a reoccurrng theme
in my art, I am challenged to paint
that complex facia expression that
emulates pain and yet dignity, a
determination in the face of suffer-
ing, to overcome the odds and the
Tales of Belize
Interview with artist CarolUn Carr
Carolyn Carr is Belize's adopted daughter. She, in fact, grew up
on a ranch in Kansas and is amazed that she emerged from that
utilitarian background an artist; yet, her spirit was always inclined
in that direction, to not only paint on canvas but to infuse the
world with the light of her message. Since her move to Belize, that
country, people and culture has provided the muse and subject for
many of her paintings which all tell a compelling tale.
Belle: Why are you an artist, and when did you first become one?
Carolyn: The only thing I truly have authority over in my life is my
canvas, the brushes and the paint. We all have presumed authority
over different arenas but in the end, most authority we assume can
be eroded or stripped away. I can paint joy or sorrow, sunshine
or rain. It is a very gratifying endeavor to manipulate and con-
trol the lives of those poor hapless subjects on my canvas; to give
them a radiant smile or a sinister scowl is a reenactment of life. I
got my first box of oil colors for my 8th grade graduation. I still
remember the excitement of smelling the cadmium orange paint
when I opened that box. It didn't smell like oranges. It is the most
wonderful smell I know.
Belle: What is your purpose as an artist?
Carolyn: My purpose as an artist is to infuse insight and hope
into the human condition. If you observe human nature, even the
slightest gesture or facial expression can shout a message. As peo-
ple interact with each other, they innately understand these mes-
sages. These are mannerisms that transcend culture and time. A
keen sense of awareness can convey with the brush far more than
the written or even spoken word.
I believe I have a mandate to elevate rather than desecrate the
human spirit. That is not to say that I won't address unpleasant
subjects. It is to say, however, that I won't through my paintings
glorify evil. My purpose in this life is to be clay in God's hands to
be molded into something useful to Him that serves His Son and
blesses other people.
Belle: What was it like growing up on a wheat farm in Kansas?
Carolyn: I was blessed with wonderful parents who gave me a very
solid upbringing. I learned from the soil that there are no guaran-
tees in life. Farm "kids" learn early on that crops fail, cherished
animals die and truly, there is great reward and fun in hard work.
Nothing was dearer to me than to be by my daddy's side to help
with a difficult task. I was driving an old LA Case tractor when I
was 10 years old and could "set" irrigation tubes as good as any
boy. I didn't get a salary but I was rewarded with quality time with
Belle: What are your most fond memories?
Carolyn: My fondest childhood memories pretty much centered
around things I did with my grandfather and my parents. I always
went with grandpa to "check the cattle" along with the Australian
cattle dog, Jack.
On Sunday after church, mother made Sunday dinner and if it
had rained (which it didn't do too often) or if the wind had blown
hard (which it did all the time) dad and I and my little brother
and sister would load up the van and drive to Eastern Colorado
near Chivington and hunt for arrowheads, relics of the famous
Chivington or Sand Creek massacre. Dad had several mason jars
full of arrowheads. Oh, and he had mason jars full of rattle snake
rattles as well, some with several "buttons."
Sometimes on Sunday we'd go coyote hunting; and on cold win-
ter evenings I spent hours and hours playing in the basement of
our home, with spent primers as my dad reloaded shotgun shells,
or with the metal curled shavings from dad's metal lathe, which
he used to turn all sorts of amazing things from gun parts to rings.
My mother made wonderful cherry pies and fresh bread. She
canned peaches, beans and so many other things like the farm wives
of that era. I could go on and on here; perhaps even write a book.
Belle: Did your childhood influence who you are now as an artist?
Carolyn: My grandfather was a crusty old German who didn't
want to be called a German because of the war so he told us we
were Pennsylvania Dutch. He didn't smile much but I was the
apple of his eye. Even my mother said I was about the only person
he would tolerate. He died when I was fourteen and it rocked my
world to lose him.
I remember that when I was four years old, we were out in the
field sitting on the tailgate of the pickup and as usual I was pester-
ing him. He found an old oil filter carton, tore it open to lay flat
and reached into the bib of his overalls for a pencil stub. He drew
a square and then over that square he drew another and connect-
ed the corners to make a box. This instantly impacted my young
mind. I understood the concept.
In the flat Western Kansas geometry, everything vertical must
submit to the horizon. Typical artistic subjects such as bowls of
fruit, vases of flowers and scenic vistas don't exist in reality. Green
is a rare hue. Brilliant colors are scarce. It forces a creative approach
There was no art in the small farming community of Tri-
bune. There was a family in Tribune, the Ward Hamptons, whose
mother was a professional artist and had a studio in Manitou
Springs, Colorado. When she passed away, the family brought
many of her paintings to their home in Tribune and the walls of
the entire house, which was large, were covered solid with her
work. These were exceptionally fine pieces of art. Occasionally we
went to visit the Hamptons and I was completely lost in those
paintings. Mrs. Hampton was very versatile. She painted flowers,
people. He lost his heart here and so there was no peace in his
heart until our business in Kansas was sold and we moved to Be-
lize. On March 9th, 1977 we loaded up all our possessions in an
8' x 16' truck along with our two daughters ages nine and twelve,
and drove through Mexico to Belize. We have now lived here for
nearly thirty-four years.
Belle: How did this movement affect your art?
Carolyn: I paint very little that is not about Belize. This culture
and land have given me a wealth of subject matter, the rare op-
portunity to record an emerging culture, one that, thirty-two years
ago, did not have many painters or artisans. The ones that were
here had very little supplies with which to work and there was no
instruction or encouragement. There was the legendary George
Gabb of course and Belisle. They were almost alone in the artistic
Belle: How do you choose your subjects?
Carolyn: I seem to gravitate toward feelings and emotions. I want
to capture something that is fleeting or changing. I can't get in-
terested in a bowl or fruit. I need to feel a sense of involvement in
Belle: Do all your paintings tell a story?
Carolyn: Most do. Sometimes I tell myself the story as the paint-
ing evolves. I get to know the characters personally. Always, how-
ever, I want the painting to communicate some truth of the sort
that is often missed in day-to-day life. The story of Fight or Flight
would be an example.
"I paint very little that s not about Beize. This
culture and land have given me a wealth of
subject matter, the rare opportunity
an emerging culture..,
fruit, horses, people in somewhat classical settings and perhaps
most wonderfully of all, a giant painting of a Western Kansas dirt
storm. Those paintings were perhaps my greatest influence as a
Belle: Why did you move to Banana Bank?
Carolyn: In 1972 our friend Bill Jaeger read an article in National
Geographic called Belize the Awakening Land and he told my hus-
band John that Belize looked like a good place to grow corn. At
the time we had a commercial cattle feedlot in Western Kansas and
didn't have much interest in growing corn. However Bill men-
tioned it a few more times and one day out-of-the-blue one of our
cattle feeding clients contacted John to inform him of a ranch for
sale in British Honduras and asked if he knew anyone that just
might be interested in buying. Bill Jaeger just happened to be sit-
ting out in the parking lot in his pickup. John told the man on
the phone to hold and rushed out to tell Bill about the offer. The
very next day John and Bill flew to Belize to see this ranch called
My husband fell in love with Banana Bank, with the river that
runs by it and with the beauty of the country of Belize and it's
Belle: Is there a common thread amongst these stories?
Carolyn: I have done many paintings of women in various ca-
pacities. As a child, I saw my mother work very hard. She did
not care if it was man's work or woman's work; if it needed to
be done, she would figure out a way to do it. She was a tiny little
woman and looking back I am astonished at the strength she had.
It was this underpinning that allowed me to persevere in a country
that in 1977 was a pioneer existence, at least in the ranch setting,
where we lived without electricity or even running water for about
Women in difficult circumstances have been a reoccurring
theme in my art. I am challenged to paint that complex facial
expression that emulates pain and yet dignity, a determination in
the face of suffering, to overcome the odds and the obstacles. Even
my paintings of wildlife have this tone and resonance. I will never
paint hopelessness or self-pity. I will never paint defeat. I will leave
that theme for those who dread the future. .
Connect with Carolyn Carr at http://www.carolyncarrbelize.com/
70 JANUARY 2010 www.caribbeanbelle.com
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We (my colleague and I) arrived at Los Roques on a commer-
cial flight from Caracas. The archipelago de Los Roques is a ring-
shaped chain of islands in the Caribbean Sea, fascinatingly made
up of coral, just north of the Venezuelan mainland. The arrival
from the air is spectacular with the splendor of colour in deep,
invigorating blues, aquamarine greens, light greys, and white-
bordered coastlines; the dotted grey landmass is surrounded by
depths of ocean, specs of sail boats and far off puffs of clouds.
We land at Gran Roque, the biggest island in the archipelago of
Los Roques. We emerged from the plane, slippers in hands, as the
roads here are mainly sandy and rocky ground. The pale ground
and dazzlingly clears waters immediately stand out against the
Mediterranean reds, greens, blues and yellows of nearby buildings.
At Gran Roque you have literally emerged into another universe.
There's just one town, of 1,600 people, on one island, set amid
some 850 square miles of lagoons, reefs and immaculate beaches.
The land is purposely undeveloped; bicycles replace cars and the
d6cor of shells, rocks, leaves and boats replace the lavish front of
inns and hotels. This is the Caribbean before tourism.
The entire atoll is in fact a Venezuelan national park: The Los
Roques Archipelago National Park (1972). The objective is to pro-
tect a marine ecosystem of exceptional beauty, dominated by coral
reefs, mangroves, and sea-grass beds. It is without doubt one of the
most beautiful natural areas of Venezuela and the largest marine
park in the Caribbean Sea.
Our morning sightseeing included a visit to an old lighthouse in
Gran Roque. It was built between 1870 and 1880 and operated
until the mid 50's. The view is magnificent: halfway along the
road there's a small water course where you can observe the cliffs
on the north side of the island and two small rocky islands called
Los Morritos. In the horizon we saw some of the closest keys:
Francisqui, Esparqui, Madrizqui and Cayo Pirata, but we've heard
that on a clear day you can see Mount Avila on the main land (part
In the afternoon we searched for a comfortable posada. (Most
posadas on Grand Roque were originally fishermen's homes,
which have been refurbished, as fishing was the main activity be-
fore Los Roques was declared a National Park).
We found ideal accommodation at the Posada Mediterraneo. It's
owner, Elena, was once a visitor to the islands, when she decided to
move there and make the posada her home, "I first arrived at Los
Roques in 1994 for a one week holiday and fell so in love with this
place: its beaches covered with white sands, its turquoise lagoons,
and the real possibility of remaining out of the real life; I changed
my life, moved from Italy and decided to build a beautiful beach
house where friends and guests from everywhere could come to
enjoy this place."
Indeed, the posada provides a dash of comfort and luxury in large-
ly un-spoilt territory with its Mediterranean style, library, wifi and
restaurant; yet, the ambience is right-on with its simplicity and
naturalness from its wooden, louvered doors and natural bamboo
adornments to its shells and tapestry. From here you can opt to
rent a boat for a day trip to one of the other islands like Cayo de
Agua, or go turtle swimming in Noronky.
That afternoon we set out on a catamaran, with an Italian couple
that we met on the island, and sailed from Gran Roque to the
practically deserted island of Rasqui. We learnt from our comrades
- who spoke a little English and a bit of Spanish that it is not un-
common to find yourself on a deserted island on the archipelago.
Rasqui, with its solitary chalet, perfectly white sands and crystal
clear water against blue sky is as close as you get to basking on
your own private island. With aqua shoes in place we immersed
ourselves into these waters, which were a bit rocky at the bottom
but perfect for snorkeling. My companions, longing for smooth
white sand, took a kayak and pedal boat from Rasqui to nearby
Fransisqui; and for a few blissful hours I felt perfectly alone in this
Later I took a boat to Fransisqui where we reunited, and nestled
there on smoother sands, with a parasol, chair and cooler, for the
evening. Danielle Watson
Contact us in Trinidad & Tobago: Phone: (868) 665-1084 / 7118 Mobile: (868) 685-1842
Email: email@example.com Website: www.newspaperdirect.com www.safaripublications.com
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Continuedfrompg 46 the top of my lungs. And when the world
deals me a difficult blow, their little heads resting on my lap re-
mind me that tomorrow things would get better. I have laughed
with them, cried with them, hugged and held them.
Each dog has a distinct personality. Tequila is the quintessential
Shih Tzu: she's aloof, loving and stubborn. She will languish in
the sunshine, bark madly at an airplane and guard our home
against all manner of birds, while Remy is and will always be, my
baby boy. He is my shadow dog as he trails behind me around
the house, all the time. As I'm writing this, I'm watching him
frantically chase a baby iguana. I think it may be the same one
he's been trying to catch for the past two days!
Remy is my mischief-maker while 'Quila is my soul-stirrer. They
say you don't choose your pet, they select you. This was exactly
how Tequila came into my life. I went to the pet store and was
looking at fat, furry, wiggly pups of all breeds. My husband ar-
rived after I did and he saw me in the 'meet 'n greet' room (a
place where they give prospective owners a chance to interact
with the animals before buying) surrounded by five male pups.
But he was already smitten by a honey blonde female and in-
sisted that we see her. This feisty bundle entered the room with
me and five rambunctious male pups. They immediately started
ganging up on her, as pups are known to do, behaving like a
typical pack trying to jockey for position. There they were, all six
of them, yapping, nipping, falling over each other, rolling, lick-
ing, frolicking. After a few minutes, I heard this sharp little bark.
The female snapped at two males who were trying to bully her
and then promptly ran and hid behind my husband's legs. We
instantly knew that she was the one! Like I said, you don't choose
them, they choose you.
A year later, I rescued Remy (only five weeks old) from a smoke
infested apartment in downtown Toronto. He was no bigger
than my palms. That was nine years ago.
As I'm finishing off this piece on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I'm
listening to the melodic sounds of jazz while Tequila naps next
to me on the couch and Remy is at my feet, gently snoring. My
dogs have moved with me to three different countries, weathered
the storm of a painful divorce, celebrated the joy of the birth of
my niece and helped me to rediscover my joie de vivre. I could
never imagine life without them.
Diary ofan Alpha Female is one of Caribbean Belle' newest col-
umns. My hope is to elicit a nod of the all- too- familiar recogni-
tion from the animal lovers out there and help you remember
why our pets hold that most special place in our hearts and lives.
.0 Salisha Baboolal
Continuedfrom pg 45 "It is really nice for more mature skin, it
gives it a nice glow." There is also the movement back to the natu-
ral brow versus the brow that is lightened or darkened.
All of these recommendations are great, but for them to be
truly effective, Calvillo says skin care is absolutely necessary.
Her steps are simple: "There is the Microfine Refinisher, a product
that exfoliates the skin that you can use two to three times a week,"
she says. "There is also the Green Gel Cleanser, which has green
tea extract, and which should be used to wash the face at morning
and at night. You must always moisturize the skin. I like to use the
Oil Control Lotion as it gives you enough moisture for the day
and the Moisture Lush Cream during the evening. If you are wear-
ing makeup, you absolutely must take it off before you go to bed."
S- Afiya Butler-Ray
Continuedfrompg52 go from Form 1, then 2, then 3 and so on
up to Form 6, in the French system, they begin with the Sixieme
or Sixth year (11 12 year olds) and go in descending order (5th
year, 4th year and so on) all the way to the Terminale (17 18 year
olds), or final year students who write their Baccalaureate exams
and move on to whatever course of study or work suits their fancy.
My task, as I have chosen to accept it, is to help these students
build their confidence in conversational English. It's not an easy
one, as I have discovered. The children are at an age where they are
very self-conscious about not saying the words right and sounding
silly; but the trick is to get them to talk, whether or not they're
sure it's the right thing to say.
They've become familiar with me, and I've been chatting with
them about Trinidad. Most have no idea where in the world Trini-
dad is one boy even asked me to show him where in London it
is but after they found out it was in the Caribbean (ooohhhh,
exotic!) and saw photos of Carnival, they all became very inter-
ested in finding out more! There was one little guy who said he
knew of Trinidad because we were part of the World Cup finals in
Germany bless his little heart. He even drew the Trinidad flag! I
was very proud to be a Trini at that point!
As for Rouen, the city is breath-taking and rich with history.
It's been dubbed the "city with a hundred spires". And it's easy
to understand why. Everywhere I look, there's a huge church or
cathedral, built in true medieval fashion, with spires climbing to
the sky. The Cathddrale Notre-Dame de Rouen is by far the larg-
est, and was, indeed, the tallest building in the world from 1876
I haven't quite been able to delve into all the different foods
here, though. So far, the only true French foods I've had are the
crepe which is like a huge pancake that one eats with jam, sugar,
or Nutella; the croque-monsieur, which is like a grilled ham and
cheese sandwich; and, of course, lots and lots of French baguettes.
I've been touring the town with some other English language as-
sistants I met here from the USA, India and the UK and of
course we had to find an Irish Pub in the middle of it all! Actually,
we found two. So I've had a little taste of Ireland in Rouen.
It's only been two weeks, but I can truly say that I love Rouen;
and I love France. I will keep you posted on my travels throughout
France; so stay posted. A bient6t! Tricia Henry
82 JANUARY 2010 www.caribbeanbelle.com